2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop methods to manage aflatoxins in maize production with emphasis on techniques that are useful in the U.S. and Africa. To select and characterize optimal biological control agents for the prevention of aflatoxins in maize and rotation crops and to develop protocols for optimization of biological control of aflatoxin contamination.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
In collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, and collaborators in the target country, biological control agents will be selected, characterized, and assessed for efficacy. Researchers and students from target countries will be trained and provide the majority of the research labor. Strains will be evaluated in laboratories and in field tests in Africa. The use and optimization of mixtures of biological control agents will be determined; optimal procedures for effecting both single season and long-term reductions in contamination in diverse agronomic systems including monocropping, co-cropping, and rotation cropping systems will be utilized. Inexpensive methods for production and dissemination of agents and optimal agronomic practices for reducing contamination with the biological controls will be developed.
This is a collaborative research project between the University of Arizona, United States Department of Agricultural, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA). This project is supported by funds from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). Research is carried out at the USDA-ARS laboratory at the University of Arizona, at IITA in Ibadan, Nigeria, and in Burkina Faso. Coordination is by computer based communication, telecommunication, and exchange visits. The most recent visit by all collaborators was June 2012 in Ibadan. First year field trials were carried out with an initial set of 9 atoxigenic strains endemic to Burkina and associated with maize and groundnut production. A single atoxigenic strain product was designed based on 4 of these atoxigenic strains that both performed well in field tests and met several DNA based criteria. Sampling of market foodstuffs by INERA collaborators indicated high exposure to aflatoxins and a need to move rapidly forward with mitigation measures. Farmer field trials of the four strain Burkina Faso product will be carried out over the next year. A colleague from Austria associated with this project visited the lab in Tucson, AZ, to get a better understanding of laboratories techniques for looking at strain/strain interactions. Overall, this project is providing the ground work for future development of atoxigenic strain products endemic to and of value in Burkina Faso.